High to Low

Yesterday, I watched the Spain’s national soccer team get beat down by the Netherlands 5-1. I have now had a chance to see Spain at the top of the soccer world with Real Madrid winning the UEFA champion May 24th and at the bottom with the worst lost in the tournament thus far.
You should have seen the look of disappoint and disgrace of their fans faces. What a swing of emotions from a couple of weeks ago yet
I don’t believe it would have been so bad if they hadn’t lost so bad but they got creamed. I don’t know any nicer way to put it.
It’s amazing how you can be a superhero one day and a piece of dirt the next. We put so much emphasizes on a player’s performance. I mean look at Sergio Ramos. A few weeks back he was a hero for his performance in UEFA final and now I hear they are thinking about sitting him for the next match after his performance yesterday.
After, Spain has basically dominated the soccer world for the past six years with two European championship (2008, 2012) and a World cup championship (2010) plus to three UEFA titles by Spanish club teams during the period. They had a total melt down yesterday on their way to hitting rock bottom and leaving their fans with questions about their team. Well, it sucks to watch your team fall from the top but I guess it isn’t bad watching them get there.
The World cup isn’t over and neither are Spain’s chances to get it
together but I think I just witness a fall from greatest and the reaction that goes with it. They say what goes up must come down.

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None

I want to apologize for this short and even more for this boring post that I’m about to write.
First, It’s going to be short because their isn’t much to report. I was suppose to write something about my post Spain depression but I have none. I haven’t left Spain yet. I’m going to be here until the 17th of June.
Though, I am actually ready to go home at this point. Spain is wonderful and a great experience but it’s not my life. My life is back in the United States where my family, school and job are. It was fun while it last it but time to head back to the real world.

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End of the Road

Today, my program official ended though it actually ended yesterday. It was amazing five weeks in Spain. I really appreciate the opportunity to able to come and study aboard. In the beginning we were told that this would be an amazing experience. That we were apart of a special group since only 2% of Americans study abroad. I have had multiplied friends and family attend college but I’m the only one that I can think of that study abroad. I had my little brother who had a very successful college career. He played college football plus graduated with 3.0 GPA. Then after a brief arena football career  he went back and got his Master’s degree. Yet, I found him living through my experiences in Spain. I learned so much about the culture of Spain, the people, and the politics (yuck). Definitely, I will have memories and stories for a life time about these five weeks. Thank you Spain for being such a gracious host and showing me a wonderful time. I’m sure most of my classmates would agree with this. Well, till we meet again Spain, hasta luego.

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Struggles

As my time wraps up here in Spain, I like to take a moment and reflect on what struggles I came across for my studies. The one that sticks out the most is the language barrier. We were told that a lot of Spanish people speak English in Madrid well you could have fooled me. This wasn’t so much an issue in Salamanca because I was able to meet people who were eager to help that were bilingual. People in Madrid seemed more concerned with themselves which is cool but not what I expected. I feel we also got more assistance from on program when we were in Salamanca not so much in Madrid.

Second, it seem to me like people didn’t really want to be interviewed for stories. Once again not so much an issue in Salamanca. In the Untied States people seem more willing. I’m not sure if this was just my problem or if my classmates endured the same issue. It could be me and that people just don’t want to talk with me. Even with the interviews I got people were disinterest in the conversation. Like I said maybe it was me but it’s not a problem I have had before.

Last, my topics that I wanted to write about. I loved my first two topics but the last one not so much. I should stuck with my original plan and did the world cup coverage. I had so much fun doing the tapas story that I really wanted to do another food piece but the more I learned about the slow food movement the less I wanted to do the story. This was completely on me though. I should have pulled out of this story earlier but by the time I realized it was a dead end story I was in way too deep. Oh well, when given lemons you have to figure out away to make lemonade.

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Rough Day

It’s official, I had the my worst day in Spain. This past Thursday was just awful to say the least.
First, my day started off with a friend of mine leaving Spain which made me extremely sad. Next, I had stomach issues with some food that I ate the previous night so I had to make frequent trips to the rest room. Then, I got my face chewed off for an event that I was not only late for but eventually ended up not attending. An event I absolutely had no desire to attend no matter how much of a privilege others might of though it was. I even had the honor of being called out in class in front of everyone, I really appreciate that. It’s never good to be singled out in front of everyone for something bad. Last but not least I had to go to hospital that night because my side was hurting so bad plus I couldn’t stop vomiting. After, I arrived at the hospital in serious pain it only took around 45 minutes to an hour to final get something to help. I found out later that I have kidney stones. I know lucky me plus the worst is yet to come because I haven’t pass them yet. I hear it can be more painful then giving birth, ouch. Well, it is so true “when it rains it pours”.

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Stop Staring

It makes me really uncomfortable when people just stare at me. Yes, I understand I’m taller than the average person. Yes, I understand that black people are a minority here in Spain which is something different. And yes, I understand this combination might be intriguing to some people but have some tact. Heck, I look at people all the time that I find attractive or interesting but I don’t stare at them like their a freak. I’m NOT a zoo animal so stop staring!

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All I Really Want

What do most humans want in there lifetime? Companionship. This something that I have want all my life. I watched my parents spilt at very age and wondered why.
In my lifetime I have the opportunity to meet many different people and still I’m searching for this. I’ve been married, I’ve had a long term girlfriend and still for this. I don’t why I had so much miss fortunate with this but still no luck.
All I want is for someone to feel about me the same I feel about them. I just want someone who will put me first in their life as I do for them. I’m 34 and the idea is possible but I just think why not me? I hope and pray one day I’ll find that special one.

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The Big 34

So, I had my 34th birthday on Monday June 2nd. It was amazing day for me and great birthday all around. I did have to attend class but oh well it was only thing I think about that didn’t go my way.
I started my day with an email from my mother. It was good to hear from her even if she tried to give me the business about the NBA finals between the Spurs and Heat. Let’s go Spurs!!! She thinks the Heat are going to win, guess what jokes on her.
Next, I went got myself a sandwich from Viandas de Madrid, yum. For, dinner that I had me some paella with spare ribs and chicken. I love paella so much and to get it authentic for my birthday was a special treat.
I finished my night off with night out on the town at $#@*&^ Mondays. I can’t feel in the first part but you get the idea. It was great time as well and first time I had been really out on the town in Madrid. I really enjoyed the music and did a bucket loaded of dancing. I think I’m going to head back next week even though it’s not my birthday.
Well all and all it was a successful birthday and I happy I got to celebrate it in new setting. I can’t wait to see what number 35 brings.

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Cuisines

Now, that I have got a chance to experience many different types of food in Salamanca and Madrid I’m ready to give my opinion. The food in Spain is amazing. I mean fantastic. It’s so delightful and savior. I see why Spanish cuisines have such a big influence on the rest of the world. I want to give a few places that I tried and suggest if anyone every wants to use this as a reference guide.
Well let’s start with the places in Salamanca first. Vida Comdia had the best pulpo ever, carpaccio de pulpo a fiera. It was so thinly sliced and came on top of a polenta like stuff, not sure what it was exactly. I’m sure that I had around three plates to myself plus everything else I consumed that night. Dan Mauro in the plaza mayor as everything your looking for a tradition Spanish tapas and then some. I had the best gazpacho every there and truthfully I don’t like cold soup, yuck! The soup had a rich tomato and garlic favor with a nice creamy texture. Definitely, a must try if you swing by. Next, for dessert I recommend the pastries as El Toro. I had a wonderful paella dish as well there but the sweets are what stuck out to me. It was one the best moments I had in Salamanca. I made my way down there quiet a few times to sit on their patio and enjoy one of the many desserts they offered. I can’t pin point one as my favorite because they were all so good. Last, I want to recommend a late night place, Leonard’s. It’s basically their version of a waffle house but so much better. I got the number 42 and wow I got another 42. I let it be a surprise on what comes on it.
Madrid is a bigger and more fast pace then Salamanca but the food is just as great. My favorite though was K tapa the Low cost bar. First, it’s just as advertise with low cost beverages and food but the crispy lobster sticks were to die for. If, I could only go back to one place that I have ate at here is your winner. Next, El Tigre was a great bargain. I didn’t stumble on this one like the others it was actually recommend to me by a former co-worker. The food was really good but it probably had the most bang for your buck. For, five euros you get a beverage and a plate of food. No ordering at all they just give you a mound of tapas with every beverage. And it’s a different variety every time. Unfortunately, we were to stuffed to make it to the paella round. I really liked Tapas 44. It’s a restaurant chain but it doesn’t take from the experience. If, you go grab the burger with a Sunnyside egg and bacon. I know it sounds mother watering and it is. Finally, the market we went to. I honestly don’t know the name but it’s located by the plaza mayor. Sorry, but that’s the best I can do. This place has it all. Pastry shops, meat shops, seafood shops, empanadas stands and a places to sit down to enjoy them all. It had the most variety that I visited. The best for me was the sushi. Yes, I know Spain is know for their sushi but if you try this place they might be.

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One Down

After, the hectic weekend that include it a trip to Toledo, running all around Madrid covering the UEFA championship and staying up all night to write plus edited the story we got good news.
Our story got published in the Boston Globe. Yes sir, we were able to get the first story out of our group on the globe.
First, I want to give props to the group I worked with especially Danny. The kid was a straight animal late Saturday early Sunday morning. He took the anchor for the story and went HAM (if you don’t know don’t worry) on it. I was so impressed with his focus and available to get bang it out. Next, I want to thank Julia and Ian who were out there busting their tails to get coverage, interviews and photos of the scenes. I had a great time working with Julia expect for the bar episode and it was an experience I will remember for a lifetime.
I also want to give a special shout out to Dylan and Geoff Hempel who helped bring this whole thing together. Geoff showed up about 6 in the morning and went absolutely beast mode on the edits. He sat their like a trooper and once again banged it out not to mention a pretty funny guy as well. Dylan of course did his usually magic and first helped with the edits then got the package together. I see why he is attractive hire for a company or fire. He’s wise beyond his years and does some amazing work.
Last but not by far not least is our professional photographer Maria. I know she’s not a professional but when you see her work you would argue different. She shot some foods pictures for me on my tapa piece and let me tell you WOW. You can see that she definitely has talent in the photography field. She provided some great shots for the piece.
Well, I have completed two of my goals. One to cover a major sporting event while in Spain and two to get a piece in the Boston Globe. I can’t express how happy I’m about this achievement. Once again thank you everyone involved in making this possible.

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